Johannesburg – South Africa's third mobile operator Cell C said on Thursday it intends to appeal a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on the use of its 4GS logo.
Cell C has dubbed its Next Generation All IP HSPA+ 900 high-speed network, 4GS - 4 Great Speed and 4 Great Service, and which it has begun rolling out across the country.
The ASA on Wednesday however, ruled that Cell C should stop using the term 4GS in its advertising material following complaints by rival group Vodacom (VOD) and MTN (MTN).
Cell C said in a statement that it "is naturally disappointed by the ruling especially as the ASA did not appear to take into account Cell C's full and extensive responses to the Vodacom and MTN complaints".
"We will appeal the ruling because we believe that this amounts to corporate bullying," said Cell C's CEO Lars Reichelt. "It is Cell C's view that MTN and Vodacom lodged these complaints in an attempt to distract Cell C which has recently established a major competitive advantage in the marketplace.
"The network Cell C has already rolled out in Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, East London, Cape Town and as of yesterday in Durban and Pietermaritzburg is technologically superior, the speeds are demonstrably and consistently higher, the service experience is better with lower latency, and the customer experience in our stores is distinctly fresh and overall perceived as better by customers," Reichelt said.
"We use the term '4GS' to describe not only our new network, but our overall value proposition, i.e. 4 Great Speed and 4 Great Service and the 4GS logo forms part of our advertising campaign," the CEO added.
"We have made it very clear on many occasions that our network is an HSPA+ 900 based network using Multi Standard Radio, running under Release 7. We can also clearly demonstrate that Cell C provides superior performance in terms of download and upload performance, with our new network already listed as the number one service provider in Port
Elizabeth on Speedtest.net, the global leader in broadband speed testing and web-based network diagnostic applications.
"In addition and contrary to operators overseas, eg. Telia Sonera, Telenor, clearwire, Sprint, we are not claiming to have a 4G network. Our view is that the public understands very well that Cell C is now the speed and price leader in SA," Reichelt concluded.